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Beach teacher feature: Meet Alex Stacy, English teacher

Alex Stacy at his desk at Beach Elementary School.
Alex Stacy at his desk at Beach Middle School.

(This is the first in a series of features about teachers in the Chelsea District Schools. If there is a teacher you’d like to see featured in this new series, please drop me an email at [email protected])

Who says you can never go home again and find a job in the town in which you grew up?

Not Alex Stacy.

He attended Beach Middle School from 2000-2003 and graduated from Chelsea High School in 2007. From there, he became a Bronco, attending and graduating from Western Michigan University with a major in education.

And today, he’s back. At Beach Middle School, as one of the Chelsea School District’s new hires, and is teaching English to 6th and 8th graders.

Stacy says he has a passion for English and for Shakespeare, but he understands that being able to quote the great bard is “a cool party trick, but it won’t get you anywhere.”

So although he manages to include some Shakespeare in his classroom teaching, his style is more about teaching his students how to relate what they learn in class to their lives.

Stacy says he teaches his students how to think.

“The English language is hard,” he says, “But when you relate it to them, to what they are thinking,” interpreting it becomes easier.

Stacy approaches all of his English lessons by getting his students to really think about how a topic relates to them and to their lives, and it’s a style that seems to be working.

“He oozes personality,” says Nick Angel, Beach Middle School principal.

And it’s contagious.

Stacy says he loves to hear the buzz outside his classroom and to hear his students talking about what they’ve learned in class with one another.

The new hire arrived at Chelsea by way of Dundee, where he secured a long-term teaching placement, and while on his way to Kalamazoo, where he’d been hired for another long-term gig.

But Chelsea came calling before he headed west.

Last year, he was a long-term substitute teacher at the high school, and this year, he was hired to teach full-time at Beach.

“He’s an up and coming English teacher,” Angel says, adding that his students really like him.

Perhaps it’s Stacy’s style of relating what he’s teaching to things that his students already know?

“I love teaching,” he says, “Especially when you see that student take that step (toward understanding). There’s nothing better.”

Stacy teaches about 100 students between the two grades and says that what he learned while a student in Chelsea was integral in his choice of professions.

Although he says he thought about becoming a mortician and his mom hoped he’d be a lawyer, he’s happy with the choice he made.

So are his bosses.

And his students.

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